Dr. Ian Malcolm is a Jewish-American mathematician and lecturer specializing in the field of chaos theory, leading to his self-description as a “chaotician.” He is primarily known for his highly-publicized involvement in the 1993 Isla Nublar incident, being the first person to speak openly about those events. To a lesser degree, he is known for his involvement in the 1997 Isla Sorna incident and his book, God Creates Dinosaurs, about the ways in which de-extinction relates to chaos theory and other mathematical disciplines. Because of his involvement in the history of de-extinction, his opinions on bioethical topics are highly respected by the public and the U.S. government.
The name Ian is of Scottish Gaelic origin, and is based on the Hebrew name Yohanan (equivalent to the English name John). The name means “the Lord is gracious.” The name Malcolm is also Scottish Gaelic in origin, derived from the original Máel Coluim meaning “disciple of Saint Columba.” It was originally a given name during the tenth century, becoming a surname sometime before the fourteenth century. These names suggest that Dr. Malcolm has a strongly Scottish Gaelic ancestry, though he also has Jewish ancestry. His first name creates an interesting parallel with Dr. John Hammond, with whom Dr. Malcolm was often at odds during the 1990s over bioethical issues.
Dr. Malcolm’s date of birth is currently unknown. The actor chosen to portray him, Jeff Goldblum, was born in 1952. An older script for The Lost World: Jurassic Park describes him as “fortyish,” and as that film took place in 1997, this would give Dr. Malcolm a somewhat later birth date in approximately 1957.
Much of his early life is also unknown. His mannerisms have led to the suggestion that he was a part of the “hippie” movement during his youth, but this is unconfirmed.
At some point, Malcolm got a small rectangular tattoo on the underside of his right arm. Details about it are currently private.
Malcolm developed a fascination with and eventually studied higher mathematics including chaos theory. During the 1960s and 1970s, this field was advancing due to the development of modern electronic computers, during which time Malcolm would have been young.
As an adult, Malcolm obtained a doctorate degree from an as-of-yet unidentified university and began teaching and lecturing on chaos theory at the university level. He became highly respected in scientific and philosophical circles internationally, though many of his contemporaries considered him to be excessively “trendy.” This eccentric personality, nonetheless, helped to boost his popularity as a celebrity scientist.
Marriages and family
By 1984 or early 1985, Malcolm had a daughter, Kelly Curtis Malcolm. By 1993, he had been married at least twice, having had three children; he was single as of 1993, though at the time he described himself as “always on the lookout for the next ex-Mrs. Malcolm.”
Dr. Malcolm was, according to family members, rather poor at keeping in touch. He grew distant with his children and apparently got along poorly with his ex-wives. Kelly in particular was typically left with a babysitter named Karen, whom she had known since she was two years old. Kelly’s mother had left for Paris, France after divorcing Dr. Malcolm.
Due to his status as a celebrity scientist and proponent of chaos theory, Dr. Malcolm was chosen in June 1993 by the Board of Directors of International Genetic Technologies, Inc. to tour and potentially endorse their upcoming theme park, Jurassic Park, located on the Costa Rican island of Isla Nublar. After being contacted by InGen’s legal representative Donald Gennaro, Malcolm was briefed on what InGen had accomplished on the island; they claimed to have brought Mesozoic life forms back from extinction, though Malcolm was skeptical that this had really been done.
InGen also recruited vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant for the tour, and InGen’s CEO John Hammond extended the invitation to Grant’s colleague and romantic partner Dr. Ellie Sattler. These three scientists met with Hammond and Gennaro to travel by helicopter from Costa Rica to Isla Nublar on June 11, 1993, becoming acquainted with one another along the way. Upon arrival to the island, Malcolm and the others were transported by jeep to the Park’s under-construction Visitors’ Centre. Along the way, they encountered living proof of de-extinction, including both plants and dinosaurs.
Despite being astounded that InGen had brought these creatures to life, Malcolm remained skeptical that the Park was as under-control as Hammond and his employees insisted. For example, chief geneticist Dr. Henry Wu maintained that all the animals in the Park were female and therefore could not breed in the wild; Malcolm argued that no matter how watertight Wu assumed his genetic engineering techniques were, he could not be certain of his success without manually and regularly checking all of the animals in the Park. Malcolm’s criticisms of the Park were rooted in chaos theory, specifically that the creation of this artificial ecosystem and its complex (for 1993) technological management introduced too many variables to accurately predict and control. While he was the only member of the tour who firmly opposed the Park’s existence, his concerns were echoed by Drs. Grant and Sattler.
The group was joined by Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim Murphy, for the tour. The children took the fore vehicle with Gennaro, while Malcolm sat with the other scientists in the rear vehicle. During the tour, Malcolm was disappointed in the lack of dinosaur visibility, though he took it as an opportunity to explain how the animals’ behavior in the Park setting was unpredictable and therefore reduced the Park’s overall viability. He did get the opportunity to witness a Triceratops up close when Dr. Grant departed the tour vehicle, leading the group into the paddock. Though he remained skeptical of the Park overall, he was just as impressed by the creature as his colleagues.
A tropical storm struck the island during the tour, forcing Park engineer Ray Arnold to turn the tour around and return it to the Visitors’ Centre. While the tour was rerouting, disgruntled chief programmer Dennis Nedry disabled the Park’s computer systems in order to steal trade secrets without being detected by surveillance cameras and bypass security checkpoints to the East Dock. As the electric fences and other restraining technologies on the island were shut down due to this act of sabotage, animals were able to leave their paddocks. Nedry himself did not survive his trip to the dock during the storm, being killed by an escaped animal. Malcolm and the other tour members were passing the tyrannosaur paddock when the sabotage caused the automated electric vehicles to stall; Dr. Sattler had remained behind with the Triceratops and was safely brought to the Visitors’ Centre by Park staff before the storm hit with full force, leaving Drs. Malcolm and Grant as the only passengers in the rear vehicle.
While they waited for Park staff to reactivate the power, Malcolm and Grant noticed Gennaro fleeing the vehicle in front of them and hide inside a restroom nearby. Moments later, the Park’s resident Tyrannosaurus rex emerged from the paddock. With the power cut, she easily tore through the cables of her paddock’s fencing and began exploring her newly expanded territory. The children activated a flashlight to try and flee the predator, but the light drew the animal toward them. In order to save the children from danger, Dr. Grant used a road flare to create an even brighter light which lured the curious animal away from the vehicle. Hoping to buy Grant more time to get the children to safety, Dr. Malcolm also lit a flare and used it to draw the tyrannosaur farther away. Unlike Grant, Malcolm did not immediately throw his flare away and hung onto it for too long; by the time he tossed it, the tyrannosaur was focused intently on him instead of the light. He barely avoided her teeth, but her head rammed him through the wall of the restroom and severely wounded his left leg. Before passing into unconsciousness, he managed to use his own belt as a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Malcolm lost his glasses in the attack and could not recover them.
Malcolm awoke to a scene of destruction: the tyrannosaur was gone, but Gennaro’s mangled remains were scattered around what was left of the restroom and the lead vehicle had been pushed over a retaining wall inside the tyrannosaur paddock. Grant and the children were nowhere to be found, and his injuries were still life-threatening. Sattler arrived on the scene in a jeep with Park warden Robert Muldoon; they moved Malcolm to their jeep and searched for survivors. While they found evidence that Grant and the children were alive and hiding somewhere inside the tyrannosaur paddock, they were forced to flee as the animal returned and gave chase. The jeep and its passengers outran the dinosaur down a service road, heading back toward the Visitors’ Centre. He stayed here during the night, being treated for his injury and given morphine for the pain.
On the morning of June 12, Hammond and Arnold decided to shut off the Park’s power entirely in order to undo Nedry’s sabotage. Shutting the power off tripped the circuit breakers in the Park’s maintenance shed, located across the Visitor Compound from the Centre. Arnold was sent to reset the breakers while Muldoon brought the other survivors to the compound’s emergency bunker for their own safety. After some time, Arnold had failed to report back; fearing the worst, Muldoon and Sattler went out after him to complete the job.
Muldoon did not make it to the shed. Escaped Velociraptors stalked him and Sattler as they approached, and Muldoon was killed while trying to hunt them down. Sattler reached the shed, not knowing whether Muldoon had survived; Hammond and Malcolm guided her through the shed using its schematics until she reached the breakers. She was able to restore power to the Park, but lost contact with Malcolm and Hammond when the third raptor attacked. For a harrowing few minutes afterward, Malcolm and Hammond had no way of knowing whether anyone else on the island was still alive. Sattler returned to the bunker, having found Grant; she confirmed that Muldoon and Arnold had died, but Grant was able to confirm that the children were alive in the Visitors’ Centre. The two paleontologists armed themselves and headed to the Centre to retrieve the children, knowing that two of the raptors were still loose.
Shortly afterward, Malcolm and Hammond were contacted unexpectedly on the phone by Grant from the Visitors’ Centre control room; they were alive and had undone the damage Nedry had perpetrated, but were being stalked through the building by raptors. Hammond sent for a helicopter to rescue them; it arrived within minutes, suggesting it may have been already on route after InGen lost contact with the island. Hammond took Malcolm by jeep to the Visitors’ Centre, getting the other survivors out of peril and bringing them all to the helipad and off Isla Nublar.
Aftermath of the Nublar incident
Following his evacuation from Isla Nublar, Malcolm was held at a hospital in San José, Costa Rica. While he recovered from his injury, he was visited by Dr. Sarah Harding, a paleobiologist and daughter of Jurassic Park’s chief veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding. She had heard rumors about what happened on Isla Nublar, but her father had not confirmed anything; instead she made the journey to Costa Rica to ask one of the survivors directly. Malcolm told her everything he knew, despite having signed a nondisclosure agreement with InGen regarding the incident. Over time, Malcolm and Harding developed romantic feelings for one another. Malcolm was reluctant to tell her that he loved her; he admitted it once while under the influence of morphine in the hospital, though he later claimed that he was talking to the nurse.
Nonetheless, Malcolm and Harding remained in a relationship from June 1993 onward. He continued to lecture on chaos theory after his recovery, and began reaching out to his daughter Kelly. They grew closer, and she moved with him to Austin, Texas where he was lecturing and researching during the 1990s. At the age of nine, in late 1993 or early 1994, Kelly acted as his research assistant and organized his grant paperwork for him. She was still often supervised by her old babysitter Karen, but Dr. Harding now also helped Malcolm care for Kelly.
Rumors and conspiracy theories regarding Isla Nublar continued to circulate during the two years following the 1993 incident, but for the time being, Malcolm’s contribution was limited.
Fall from grace
Fed up with the truth of Isla Nublar being concealed, Dr. Malcolm breached his nondisclosure agreement on public television during a 1995 interview. In it, he revealed de-extinction as a reality and told the story of what happened to him during the incident. This television interview reached millions of people nationwide; many conspiracy theorists believed him, but many more dismissed him as a fraud.
Breaching his NDA had dire consequences for his career and public standing. InGen representative Peter Ludlow began a smear campaign against Malcolm to further discredit him and protect InGen from inquiry; Hammond appears to have taken no action to stop this. Reputable newspapers such as the Skeptical Inquirer and Washington Post ran articles denouncing Malcolm’s claims, and the Costa Rican government dismissed claims of living dinosaurs as baseless conspiracy theories. He was accused by Ludlow of accepting bribes to spread these supposed rumors, though Malcolm denied accepting any money and maintained that his stories were true. The university he lectured at in Austin revoked his tenure, costing Malcolm his job. His reputation in the public eye suffered immensely as he went from being a respected scientist to an international laughingstock. During this time, his only true support came from Dr. Harding and his daughter Kelly, who believed his story.
However, his relationship with Harding was not always harmonious; she criticized his lack of reliability and affection. For example, when they planned to have dinner with Malcolm’s parents, Malcolm failed to show and left Harding alone with them.
After his breach of the nondisclosure agreement in 1995, Malcolm published a book entitled God Creates Dinosaurs, which related chaos theory to the failure of Jurassic Park and other scientific endeavors. Although the book would later become a runaway success, it was probably a failure when it was originally published, since Jurassic Park was widely believed to be a hoax at the time. According to the InGen IntraNet website, Malcolm was on a temporary teaching assignment in the Berkeley area as of late 1997.
In early November of 1997, Malcolm was contacted by John Hammond once again. By now, Hammond was bedridden at his New York City estate and had been deposed as CEO of InGen by unanimous vote of the Board of Directors; he was replaced by Ludlow. Upon arrival to Hammond’s estate, Malcolm encountered Ludlow himself in the process of assuming control of InGen. In his meeting with Hammond, Malcolm learned about the existence of Site B, InGen’s research and development facility located on Isla Sorna and Ludlow’s plan to raid the island for assets to save InGen from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Were the plan to come to fruition, Ludlow would reopen Jurassic Park’s original planned location in San Diego, California using animals from Isla Sorna. Hammond had by now adopted an environmentalist philosophy and sought to keep the dinosaurs preserved and free from human intervention. Malcolm had no interest in participating in Hammond’s mission to stop Ludlow, and planned instead to contact Hammond’s other volunteers (technician Eddie Carr and video documentarian Nick Van Owen) to discourage them from participating either. However, when he learned that the fourth member of the expedition was his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding, he immediately planned to go to Isla Sorna with the other team members and retrieve her.
Although Hammond’s team, dubbed the Gatherers, was not planned to leave for Isla Sorna for another two days, he reached Eddie Carr’s garage in California to meet them and insisted that they depart immediately. Van Owen arrived along with Kelly, who Malcolm instructed not to come along with him (he did not reveal where he would be going, only that it would be a few days). He tasked Kelly’s longtime babysitter Karen with watching her again, since Harding would not be able to. The Gatherer team and all its equipment was shipped to Isla Sorna on the ocean barge Mar del Plata.
The Gatherers landed at a lagoon on northeastern Isla Sorna on November 2, moving their Fleetwood RV mobile laboratory inland. Van Owen and Carr intended to carry out as much of Hammond’s activist mission as they could despite Malcolm’s opposition, though as soon as they were settled in near the northeastern cliffs they began searching for Harding. The group found her discarded backpack with satellite phone inside, assuming the worst, but shortly afterward discovered Harding alive and well documenting a family group of Stegosaurus. During the encounter Malcolm attempted to protect her from a juvenile stegosaur’s protective parents, but was restrained by Carr for his own safety.
Despite Malcolm’s insistence, Harding refused to leave the island when the opportunity to study de-extinct life in the wild was available. She intended to complete Hammond’s mission to document these animals living without human interference and learn as much about what they needed to survive as possible. Malcolm also discovered that, to his chagrin, Kelly had stowed away in the mobile lab and had now joined them on Isla Sorna.
Before Malcolm could successfully reach the Mar del Plata to come pick them up, Ludlow’s team of InGen Harvesters arrived to the island via the S.S. Venture. The Gatherer team bore witness to the Harvesters’ operation setting up, with Ludlow’s lead hunter Roland Tembo directing the team in its capture of several dinosaurs. By nightfall, they had collected nearly all the specimens that they needed to start a new park; only Malcolm and Van Owen were apparently aware of Ludlow’s plan to finish Jurassic Park: San Diego. After spying on the Harvester encampment, Malcolm brought Kelly back to the trailers while Van Owen and Harding infiltrated the camp to sabotage its vehicles and free the dinosaurs.
Malcolm continued to try and contact the Mar del Plata, but due to his inexperience with radio technology, he failed to reach them (accidentally contacting a Costa Rican local instead). While he and Kelly struggled, Harding and Van Owen returned to the trailer with a wounded juvenile Tyrannosaurus in tow; they intended to set its broken leg before returning it to the wild, since human intervention had injured it in the first place. Malcolm, agreeing with Kelly’s assessment that other animals would hear the juvenile’s distress calls, took Kelly out of the trailers for her safety.
Kelly was brought to the High Hide, a concealed viewing platform suspended above the jungle canopy which Carr had designed and set up earlier in the day. The three of them remained here while Van Owen and Harding worked. From the High Hide, the bellow of an adult tyrannosaur was audible; Malcolm tried and failed to reach Harding via the trailers’ radio, and when she or Van Owen failed to pick up the phone he opted to run through the forest to warn them. Promising Kelly that he would keep himself safe, he left the safety of the High Hide.
Malcolm arrived at the trailers seconds before the tyrannosaur’s mother, who was joined moments later by the father. By this time, Harding and Van Owen had finished setting the juvenile’s leg, and cautiously let it out of the trailers to join its parents. The adults moved their offspring into the safety of the forest, and Carr called the trailers to confirm that the animals were leaving.
Malcolm, Harding, and Van Owen were shaken by the encounter, but Harding at least felt validated since the behavior she had just witnessed confirmed her theories about theropod parenting. A few minutes after the encounter had passed, Malcolm felt familiar tremors in the ground and had only seconds to warn the others before the tyrannosaur parents, having returned, rammed the trailers’ rear car and overturned it. The parents pushed the rear car over the cliffs, leaving it dangling by the connector and the front car. Rain had softened the ground near the cliff edge, and the trailer began to slip on the muddy ground.
Harding had fallen during the attack, and was now trapped on the weakened safety glass at the rear of the trailer. Malcolm managed to rescue her before the glass shattered; shortly after, Carr arrived to lower a rope to them and attempt to hold the trailers in place on the muddy ground. While Malcolm and the others climbed to safety, the tyrannosaur parents returned when the sound of the commotion got their attention; Carr was killed, and as he was no longer able to keep the trailers from sliding, the remaining camp vehicle and the trailers fell from the cliff. The rope he had tied off held firm, though, saving the lives of Malcolm and the others.
By the time they reached the top of the cliffs, the InGen Harvesters had arrived on the scene with Kelly. Despite the opposing missions of the two groups (and the Gatherer’s role in marooning them both on the island), Tembo and Ludlow were unwilling to let Malcolm and the others simply die and provided them protection. Ludlow explained that they could radio for help from the Workers’ Village in the island interior, but that this would not be easy: the island interior was also the hunting and nesting territory of a Velociraptor pride, the reason the expedition had intended to stay near the island’s edge. Malcolm had not encountered raptors himself on Isla Nublar, but had surely heard stories from Sattler, Grant, and the Murphys, and was chilled by the prospect of encountering them himself.
Despite the danger, the group began trekking westward and inland. Along the way, Malcolm and Ludlow had the opportunity to face their differences; though they both tried to explain themselves to the other, they found it difficult to reconcile their conflicting views. The journey continued throughout the day of November 3; by the evening, the group stopped to make camp just north of the village. Malcolm had remained awake, waiting for Tembo and Ludlow to confirm whether a missing expedition member had been found (the man was confirmed dead).
During the night, while Malcolm was still awake, the male tyrannosaur entered the camp, having tracked them down by the scent of his son’s blood on Harding’s jacket. He investigated the tent in which Harding and Kelly were sleeping, with the horrified Malcolm unable to do anything to stop him; if Malcolm intervened, the bull tyrannosaur’s sudden movement could threaten the lives of his girlfriend and daughter. Ultimately the tyrannosaur was distracted from his investigation when another hunter awoke and screamed at the sight of the predator, awaking the rest of the group and causing a mass panic. The female tyrannosaur emerged from the woods as the group began to scatter; Malcolm was separated from the other Gatherers in the chaos.
He ultimately found the Gatherers trapped behind a small waterfall by the female tyrannosaur, the male having remained nearer the camp. While the female was busy consuming the Harvesters’ team paleontologist, Malcolm slipped behind the waterfall to find Harding, Kelly, and Van Owen. Once the tyrannosaur had moved on, Malcolm and the other Gatherers made a run southward toward the Workers’ Village.
To get to the village, they needed to cross a wide field of elephant grass. Some of the Harvesters had fled this way already, leaving a clear path to the other side, but the Harvesters themselves were nowhere in sight with only a discarded backpack left behind. In the distance, Malcolm heard the sound of a large struggle, and animal noises nearby confirmed his fears: they were in the heart of the Velociraptors‘ territory. They made a run for the other side of the field, stumbling over a high embankment; the fall injured Malcolm’s bad leg, incapacitating him for the moment. Van Owen went ahead into the village to reach the operations building and radio the S.S. Venture for help.
Malcolm, Harding, and Kelly became concerned when Van Owen did not return quickly, and entered the village to find him. There, they were ambushed by a male Velociraptor; Harding’s life was saved only because the animal sunk its claws and teeth into her backpack rather than her body. Malcolm distracted the raptor and it began to pursue him; meanwhile, another male and a female raptor joined the first male and cornered Kelly and Harding within the village’s kiln house. Malcolm managed to evade his pursuer, entering the kiln house to join the others, but was cornered by the second male raptor as it dug its way in through the building’s dirt floor. The raptor cornered Malcolm as he fled into the rafters where Kelly and Harding had taken refuge; as the animal prepared to move in for the kill, Kelly distracted it long enough to deliver a full-body strike from a support beam. This caused the animal to lose its balance and fall out a window, where it was wounded on wooden debris below. The other male and the female made their way into the building, forcing Malcolm, Harding, and Kelly out; Malcolm and Kelly were safe for the moment while Harding held the attention of the two raptors. She managed to force the male to fall from the roof onto the female, causing the two to squabble violently with each other; while they fought, she escaped safely and joined Malcolm and Kelly.
Van Owen emerged from the operations building to hail the three of them, and the helicopter he had called arrived to rescue them. They boarded and were removed from Isla Sorna. As they were lifted out, they witnessed the male tyrannosaur having been tranquilized and captured by the Harvesters, caged and ready to be loaded onto the Venture. They arrived to San Diego in the early hours of November 4.
Malcolm and Harding left Kelly safely away from InGen’s San Diego waterfront complex, and parted ways with Van Owen for unknown reasons. They took Malcolm’s car to the dock where the Venture was scheduled to arrive, but were denied entry. Partway through Ludlow’s press conference, he left with the harbormaster on undisclosed business; shortly after, the Venture arrived ahead of schedule and plowed into the dock. Malcolm and Harding joined Ludlow and several InGen dockworkers to investigate the cause of the crash; members of the Venture crew were found dead on board, the tyrannosaur’s cage demolished by onboard vehicles, and the captain dismembered. One of the deceased crewmembers was found holding the controls for the cargo bay doors, which were being closed against some internal force. Malcolm put the pieces together before anyone else, warning them to get off the ship moments before the cargo hold was opened at Ludlow’s orders to rescue surviving crew. The tyrannosaur escaped the hold, fleeing into the city.
Malcolm and Harding learned from a surviving crewman that the tyrannosaur had fallen into a coma due to overdosing on carfentanil, and that they had administered naltrexone to wake him back up. They overdosed the animal a second time, causing him to enter a drug-induced hyperactive state; in the panic, he had accidentally been freed from the cage and attacked the crew in a frenzy. He had been locked in the hold by a dying crew member to save the rest. Harding reasoned that the stressed animal would look for water and then food, giving them a way to predict his behavior. They confronted Ludlow; Malcolm took the opportunity to gloat, but ultimately was more concerned with learning the location of the infant tyrannosaur which Ludlow had also taken from the island.
Ludlow told them that the infant was being held in the nearly-finished Jurassic Park: San Diego facility. Malcolm drove himself and Harding there, defying InGen Security to retrieve the animal, and left for the city streets to track down the adult. They found him in a state of confusion and stress, wandering about his bizarre new environment and causing panic among San Diego’s early-rising population. Using the infant’s distress calls, Malcolm and Harding lured the father through the streets and back to the Venture, where they left the infant in the cargo hold and jumped from the ship to escape an enraged Ludlow and the San Diego Police Department.
Malcolm and Harding needed to act quickly to subdue the adult before he escaped the ship a second time, and before an SDPD helicopter dispatched at Ludlow’s orders shot the father to death. From the ship’s bridge, Harding managed to hit the tyrannosaur in the neck with a tranquilizer dart while Malcolm began to close the cargo hold. The exhausted animal succumbed to the drug’s effects quickly and settled down within the hold, safe from the SDPD.
Though they had been instrumental in saving the tyrannosaurs (and preventing further loss of life in San Diego), Malcolm and Harding’s plans had caused the death of Peter Ludlow as he followed the infant’s distress cries into the cargo hold and was killed. Malcolm and Harding, after the incident had ended, did not accompany the U.S. Armed Forces in safely transporting the animals back to their birthplace; instead, they retired to their apartment with Kelly.
Aftermath of the Sorna incident
Malcolm’s life took a turn for the better after his second run-in with de-extinct life. This time, rather than brand him a crackpot conspiracy theorist, his outlandish claims were validated by worldwide news coverage. Vindicated in the public eye, he became a respected authority on de-extinction and bioethics, and his scientific career resumed again. It is unknown whether he took up lecturing and researching at the university in Austin again or if he ventured elsewhere.
John Hammond passed away in the winter of 1997, but not before assisting the U.S. government in writing the Gene Guard Act which provided protection for de-extinct animals. Support for this bill was largely due to the actions of the Gatherer team, including Dr. Malcolm, and their testimonies about the incidents that took place in November of 1997. According to deleted concepts from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Malcolm attended Hammond’s funeral as a key eulogist.
Career during the 2000s-2010s
Malcolm’s book, God Creates Dinosaurs, had become wildly popular by early 2001. It was well-received not only by the mathematical and biological communities, but also by the general public due to Malcolm’s celebrity status and its rare insight into the mysterious events of 1993. It was even popularly read by InGen employees in the ensuing decades. Not all reviews of the book were positive; Malcolm’s associate Dr. Alan Grant criticized the book’s tone and narrative, as did dinosaur enthusiast Eric Kirby.
In the summer of 2001, Malcolm may have been contacted by the aforementioned Eric Kirby’s parents Paul and Amanda Kirby about touring Isla Sorna during an incident that year in which the young Eric went missing on the island. However, if he was indeed contacted (as a deleted Jurassic Park /// concept implies), he denied the invitation. Instead, Dr. Grant was unknowingly enlisted into this rescue mission.
On May 30, 2005, InGen finally opened the original Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. By now, the company had been bought by Masrani Global Corporation, and the park was rechristened Jurassic World. Due to his tumultuous history with InGen and personal objections to genetic engineering, it is doubtful that Dr. Malcolm ever visited Jurassic World (though the animated LEGO series Legend of Isla Nublar suggests that he did so in 2012). By the time the park opened, Isla Sorna had supposedly been emptied of animal assets, leaving Isla Nublar as the sole home of de-extinct life as far as the public was led to believe.
Even if he never visited the park itself, Malcolm’s influence could be felt there. His book, God Creates Dinosaurs, remained popular well into 2015, especially among staff members who held interest in InGen’s secretive history. InGen employees Lowery Cruthers and Zara Young were both known to have read Malcolm’s book. According to the mobile game Jurassic World: The Game, Masrani Global’s CEO Simon Masrani subscribed to some of Malcolm’s philosophical views and incorporated them into his business model.
Jurassic World remained open until December 18, 2015. It closed due to an incident of corporate mismanagement which led to a genetically-engineered carnivorous theropod escaping confinement, accidentally freeing a large flock of pterosaurs, and causing numerous human and animal deaths across Isla Nublar.
Two years after Isla Nublar was abandoned by its owners, volcanic activity increased on the island; the park’s former Senior Assets Manager Claire Dearing founded the Dinosaur Protection Group in part as a response to this new crisis. An animal rights controversy broke out internationally as the public and governments debated whether de-extinct animals had a right to live. Malcolm, though he pitied the unfortunate animals, did not support the DPG’s side of the argument, believing that since the volcanic eruption was a natural event, humans ought not to interfere.
In June of 2018, with an eruption imminent, the U.S. Senate held a hearing in Washington, D.C. in which Dr. Malcolm was called to testify as an expert witness not affiliated with InGen. In the hearing, Malcolm stated that the U.S. government should maintain a policy of non-interference as Hammond had originally desired for Isla Sorna, that the dinosaurs should live or die as nature dictated. He argued that mounting a rescue mission would be both irresponsible and unnecessary, as it could bring about further conflict between human interest and the course of nature. Furthermore, he argued that genetic engineering was immoral in and of itself, and that permitting nature to destroy the progress that had been made in that field would allow for science to start with a clean slate and not pursue these particular courses of research again.
Ultimately, despite lobbying from animal rights activists and the DPG, the U.S. government determined to uphold its non-action policy on June 23 as Malcolm advised. The justification they gave was that Isla Nublar was privately owned by Masrani Global Corporation, and thus it would be a violation of the company’s rights for the government to intervene. Two days later, an incident occurred in northern California: the Dinosaur Protection Group, in cooperation with Hammond’s former business partner Benjamin Lockwood and his aide Eli Mills, had gone against the federal government’s orders and removed numerous dinosaurs from Isla Nublar before the eruption. While the DPG and Lockwood intended to move the animals to the privately-owned Sanctuary Island for safety, Mills instead opted to sell them on the black market; during the incident, some of the animals were sold to international criminals and the remainder were released into the forests near Orick. Once again, Malcolm was brought before Congress to advise the government on how to respond; to this incident, Malcolm had less advice but for everyone to prepare for a world in which de-extinct life and modern life would have to find ways to coexist.
Dr. Malcolm’s field of study is advanced mathematics, particularly chaos theory (he identifies himself as a “chaotician” rather than mathematician). He maintains an in-depth knowledge of mathematical topics that many find esoteric, and has remained up to date with the latest discoveries and theories since at least the early 1990s. He is also skilled at applying his mathematical theories in real-world situations including ecology, sociology, and scientific research. Along with studing historic and developing mathematics, Dr. Malcolm has performed considerable research of his own.
His understanding of chaos theory is a valuable skill in the field as well as the laboratory and lecture hall, as it encourages him to consider possible outcomes that others may have dismissed or not considered in the first place. For this reason, InGen’s Board of Directors considered him a valuable asset to conducting a thorough safety analysis of Jurassic Park, as he could spot issues before even their trained experts. He notably predicted that InGen’s supposedly all-female dinosaurs would find a way to breed, despite the insistence of Dr. Henry Wu (widely considered one of the most skilled and intelligent geneticists in the world) that this was impossible. However, Malcolm’s actual knowledge in more derived fields of science is limited, and he often relies on his colleagues and friends to obtain background knowledge in fields such as biology so that he can properly apply his mathematical theories.
Due to his extensive knowledge of mathematics and their applications in various other scientific fields, as well as his experience researching with respected universities, Dr. Malcolm has long been a lecturer at universities around the United States (including, for example, Austin, Texas). Malcolm’s teaching skills extend beyond classroom and lecture settings; he is apt at teaching on the fly, performing impromptu demonstrations of chaos theory and using events occurring around him as examples. He has written at least one book, God Creates Dinosaurs, which was generally well-recieved; this demonstrates skill at written, as well as verbal, communication. However, he is not known to speak any languages other than English, and is known to struggle with Spanish.
Malcolm’s experience teaching and lecturing have led to him being viewed as a source of counsel by entities up to and including the U.S. government during times when scientific expertise is deemed necessary, as he is efficient at communicating complex topics to laypeople. The fact that he was called in as an expert witness by Congress during the 2018 de-extinct animal rights debates, despite the anti-science sentiment pervading the American government at that time, should stand as testament to the amount of respect he has garnered.
Dr. Malcolm’s personality has been likened to that of a rock star: outgoing, eccentric, and charming in peculiar ways. His personal grooming, fashion sense, and distinctive voice all add to the appeal that many people find in him; this makes him very effective as a lecturer and public figure. He is also highly respected for his insistence that de-extinction was not a hoax between the years of 1995 and 1997. While his career suffered during that time, his determination to prove himself a truthful man and his ultimate vindication in the 1997 San Diego incident have endeared him among many, especially people who value objectivity and scientific fact. All of these factors have made Malcolm a well-loved figure, and he appears to genuinely enjoy the attention given to him (so long as it is positive, of course). Malcolm enjoys social interaction and is quick to engage in conversation with others, even those with whom he vehemently disagrees.
Malcolm is also a notorious flirt, though he does generally respect boundaries. He is known to have had several failed relationships in the past, including at least two divorces. This suggests that while he is excellent at engaging with people on the level of friendship, long-term relationships are harder for him to maintain. His personality is certainly not universally appealing; many people, such as John Hammond, Alan Grant, and Eric Kirby, find him irritating and have described his lecturing style as “preachy.”
Malcolm has possessed a valid U.S. driver’s license since at least November 1997 and is capable of driving a vehicle with manual transmission. As of 1997, he owned (or co-owned with Dr. Harding) a red 1969 Pontiac Custom S. He shows skill at driving this car through city streets and through obstacles, even while under serious stress.
In a commercial for the 2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, Dr. Malcolm is shown having a fantasy about driving this Jeep off-road through muddy and forested terrain while evading (and eventually chasing) a Tyrannosaurus rex. However, since this scene takes place only in Malcolm’s imagination and he has not yet purchased the vehicle in the commercial, it should not be taken as an indication of his actual off-road driving skills. The commercial implies that Malcolm uses driving as a coping mechanism for the trauma he experienced during the 1993 and 1997 incidents.
While Malcolm is a mathematician and scientist by trade, he is unskilled with certain technologies such as radio communication. This was exemplified during the 1997 Isla Sorna incident, during which Malcolm’s lack of understanding of radio cause communication issues on a few occasions; he generally had to rely on his companion Eddie Carr for help with this.
Dr. Malcolm has been visually disabled since at least the early 1990s and requires corrective lenses for most activities. His exact strength of vision is undisclosed. He typically wears eyeglasses, though for a period in 1997 he did not and presumably wore contact lenses instead. This may benefit him during more strenuous fieldwork.
Since June 11, 1993, Dr. Malcolm has also been physically disabled due to a severe injury to his left leg which he obtained during a tyrannosaur attack. While he is now able to move about without the use of a mobility device, his left leg remains sensitive and prone to injury. He is otherwise in good physical health and can perform most athletic activities without much difficulty.
His primary field of study, chaos theory, is the most prominent mathematical theory supported by Dr. Malcolm. While laypeople often view events in nature as entirely random, Malcolm believes that they are actually determined by countless miniscule factors which interact in complex ways that result in unpredictability from a limited human perspective. A simple example he often cites is the so-called “butterfly effect,” in which a tiny change to a complex system (such as the air displaced by the movement of a butterfly’s wings) can drastically impact the outcome of that system (such as the weather in a different part of the world). Malcolm believes that chaos theory can be applied to other fields of science and philosophy such as sociology and ecology, and that it should be considered when applying scientific research methods.
Other mathematical concepts Malcolm has researched include strange attractors, the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, and non-linear equations, all of which have applications related to chaos theory. Malcolm has performed much of his own research; according to the mobile game Jurassic Park: Builder, one of his theories developed in the late 1990s was submerged displacement theory, which predicts the chaotic ways in which liquids and their solid contents are displaced in a large system.
On scientific discipline
Dr. Malcolm is a strong proponent of the precautionary principle, even more so than his fellow de-extinction skeptics Dr. Alan Grant and Dr. Ellie Sattler. The heightened level of his caution and skepticism are informed by his research into chaos theory and resulting belief that human perspective cannot account for all the potential outcomes of a complex system. He has been accused of espousing Neo-Luddite attitudes by Dr. John P. A. Hammond in 1993, though Malcolm has never directly identified himself as Neo-Luddite.
Despite working in a scientific field himself, Malcolm expressed opposition to the idea that science should pursue discovery for discovery’s own sake in 1993, referring to such research as “the rape of the natural world.” He believes that simply because research can be conducted does not mean that it should, and that the action of discovery will inevitably alter the research subject. This was a sore subject of disagreement between himself and his girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding in 1997, who believed that studying and even interacting with research subjects was not inherently a harmful act.
Malcolm’s caution against reckless research has remained one of his most constant philosophical views, and was expressed in his 2018 testimonies before Congress. During the debates, he described changes brought to the world through scientific research as alarming, potentially dangerous, and nearly always irreversible.
On genetic engineering
Like most fields of science, genetic engineering is a source of alarm for Dr. Malcolm due to its potential to revolutionize many fields of biology and aspects of society. He has compared the fast-paced research of geneticists such as Henry Wu to the atomic tests of the mid-twentieth century, likening these scientists to a child playing with his father’s gun. His negative experiences with de-extinct life have likely influenced his opinions on the topic, but even before he arrived at Jurassic Park in 1993 he was skeptical of genetic engineering.
In the modern day, genetic engineering has gone beyond de-extinction. Beginning with the creation of the hybrid flowering plant Karacosis wutansis in May 1997, geneticists led by Henry Wu have developed methodologies for creating entirely new genera of organisms, culminating with the chimerid lineage including Indominus rex and Indoraptor. Military interests have become inextricably linked to this genetic lineage, furthering concerns that bioengineering will be used by governments and paramilitary organizations for purposes of warfare and terrorism. While large animals may be unrealistic to use, the hybridization techniques pioneered by Wu could easily be applied to simpler organisms such as bacteria, compounding the bioterror threat which already exists on the international stage. In this respect, Dr. Malcolm’s concerns are echoed by many people the world over.
It is important to state that Dr. Malcolm does not blame the organisms created through genetic engineering for the harm they cause. He has, for example, described InGen’s dinosaurs in positive terms, recognizing that they are just animals and do not understand the world they are living in any more than animals which exist naturally. During the 2018 Senate hearings regarding Isla Nublar and the volcanic threat of Mount Sibo, Malcolm openly described the dinosaurs as wonderful creatures and regretted that their death was the safest option for all parties involved. The blame for damage wrought by genetically-modified organisms, in Dr. Malcolm’s opinion, lies entirely with their creators and not at all with the creatures themselves.
While he is not extremely misanthropic, Dr. Malcolm holds a mostly negative view of humanity in spite of his many positive personal relationships. His views on civilization have grown progressively more negative in recent years due to unchecked advancements in science and technology, which he believes are hastening along irreversible and damaging changes to the world overall. In the 2018 Senate hearings regarding the escaped de-extinct animals, Malcolm claimed that the human species was “causing [its] own extinction” by means of the scientific developments made over the past several decades.
On religion and nature
Dr. Malcolm frequently invokes the Abrahamic idea of God or a creator deity in his descriptions of natural events, though he has also denied that he believes any deity directly interferes with our world. Rather, he uses the idea of God as an anthropomophization of nature and the universe. Nonetheless, Malcolm holds a deep reverence for nature. Malcolm believes that interfering with the natural progression of events is unwise and dangerous, and that nature should be allowed to take its course without human input. He subscribes to the belief that humans are no longer a part of nature, and therefore should minimize their impact on natural systems.
He does make exceptions for situations in which human activity has already altered the course of nature, in which case he supports action being taken to restore a natural system to an approximation of its state before the anthropogenic change took place. For example, he opposed the de-extinction of the dinosaurs but would have supported a repopulation of the endangered California condor.
During the 1997 incidents, Dr. Malcolm opposed human interference on Isla Sorna and supported the safe return of two tyrannosaurs to the place they were born; in this case, human intervention could not realistically be undone on Isla Sorna without either killing numerous animals or causing significant alteration elsewhere, both of which are unacceptable solutions in Malcolm’s philosophy. Here, he supported returning Isla Sorna and the American mainland to an approximation of the state they were in before the InGen Harvester expedition rather than before de-extinction due to the latter goal being unachievable. In the case of Mount Sibo in 2018, he advocated for the extinction of the dinosaurs, though he mourned for the animals; because the eruption was a naturally-occurring event, he had no objection to allowing the extinction to progress without interference. Though the eruption was referred to during the hearings as an act of God, Malcolm expressed that he did not believe it was actually divine in nature but rather a fortuitous natural event outside of human control.
Malcolm does not subscribe to the commonly-held belief that human activity will completely destroy life on Earth, or that any outside force is likely to do so. One of his most famous quotes, “life finds a way,” sums up his belief that evolution results in solutions to nearly all of the problems faced by organisms. While extinctions are inevitable, they are a part of nature and a necessary step in life’s adaptation to the many obstacles it encounters.
On marriage and family
Malcolm has had several failed relationships including at least two divorces. He had three children as of 1993, including Kelly Curtis Malcolm (born in 1984 or early 1985). Prior to the 1993 incident, he was distant with his children and had poor relations with his ex-wives; he maintained a similarly cynical view of potential future relationships. Following his near-death experience in the 1993 incident, Malcolm mended his relationship with at least his daughter Kelly, although Ms. Curtis left both Malcolm and Kelly to move to Paris and did not become friendly with Malcolm. In 1993, he entered into a relationship with paleobiologist Dr. Sarah Harding, who became a mother figure to Kelly. Despite their closeness, Dr. Malcolm struggled to tell Dr. Harding that he loved her and would sometimes skip out on important events they were supposed to attend together.
In 1997, his daughter Kelly described him as enjoying having children but not liking spending time with them. She also claimed that his parenting style was too soft, as he seldom punished her. He did, however, do everything he could to boost her self-esteem and encourage her to be confident.
Dr. Malcolm’s relationship with his family members is mostly unknown, though his parents were alive as of 1997 and were known to get involved with his dating life. It has been suggested, but is unconfirmed, that they may have played a role in the failures of some of his prior relationships. He has been married at least twice, and had three children as of 1993. Of them, only Kelly Curtis Malcolm has had any extensive involvement with her father’s public life; his other children’s names are undisclosed, as are the names of his previous partners.
The names of Malcolm’s other children are sometimes presumed to be Emily Curtis (in Michael Crichton’s novel, the name of Kelly’s elder sister) and R.B. Benton (also in the novel, a boy who is friends with but not related to Kelly). These are not confirmed in the film canon, and in the novel, none of these children are Malcolm’s, including Kelly.
In mid-June of 1993, Dr. Malcolm became acquainted with paleobiologist Dr. Sarah Harding, with whom he entered into a romantic relationship. Their relationship, however, was strained at times due to Malcolm’s difficulties with long-term relationships and their differing philosophical viewpoints. Nonetheless, he cared for her deeply and was willing to put himself in danger in order to keep her safe, a fact which she understood and appreciated even if his help did not always come at the best times. InGen’s chief veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding, Sarah’s father, would be Malcolm’s prospective father-in-law were the two to become engaged or married; Sarah’s younger sister Jessica Harding would be Malcolm’s prospective sister-in-law. His relationships with them are unknown.
According to Jurassic Park: Builder, Dr. Malcolm had a pet gecko in the late 1990s.
John Hammond and InGen
Dr. Malcolm became acquainted with InGen in 1993, being contacted by legal representative Donald Gennaro to tour and potentially endorse a de-extinction theme park on the Pacific island of Isla Nublar. Malcolm was skeptical of the truth of InGen’s claims until he saw the results for himself; by that point in time he had become acquainted with InGen’s CEO and President, Dr. John Parker Alfred Hammond. The two men clashed philosophically, and while they interacted civilly in person, they resented one another behind the scenes. Malcolm’s firm belief in the precautionary principle and the uncontrollable nature of complex systems entirely disagreed with Hammond’s desire to manipulate nature in unforseen ways to bring Jurassic Park to fruition. His disapproval of the Park and its mission extended to other InGen employees such as Dr. Henry Wu, though Malcolm only got to know a few other employees as most were on shore leave for the weekend. He briefly met chief engineer John Raymond Allen Arnold and Park warden Robert Muldoon on a few occasions. Muldoon in particular was partly responsible for saving Malcolm’s life during the 1993 incident. Malcolm never met InGen’s chief programmer Dennis Nedry, though this man was entirely responsible for causing the incident and severely endangering Malcolm’s life.
Donald Gennaro did not interact much with Malcolm on the tour, though his capitalistic interests opposed Malcolm’s cautious nature. Malcolm is indirectly responsible for Gennaro’s death, as he lured a tyrannosaur into the restroom area where Gennaro had taken shelter; he had not done this intentionally, however.
Following the 1993 incident, Malcolm’s relationship with John Hammond became less acrimonious, and Hammond even admitted that Malcolm’s 1993 predictions had been accurate. Malcolm was the only survivor of the incident to violate his NDA with InGen and speak publicly about de-extinction, which gained him an enemy in InGen’s Peter Ludlow; when Ludlow ultimately replaced Hammond in 1997, Hammond reached out to Malcolm for help in preventing Jurassic Park: San Diego from opening. This also provided Malcolm an opportunity to save his reputation, which Ludlow had ensured to ruin in order to protect InGen. Hammond’s intentions were not primarily about undoing the damage InGen had done to Malcolm’s public standing, however; he was first and foremost concerned with protecting the dinosaurs’ rights as living things, and knowingly manipulated Malcolm into going to the island by ensuring that Dr. Harding was already there.
During the incident, Malcolm did not directly interfere with the InGen Harvester expedition while some of his companions did. However, during the ensuing incident in San Diego, he did confront Ludlow about his actions and committed trespassing and theft against InGen in order to return the tyrannosaurs to Isla Sorna. His actions, along with those of Dr. Harding, indirectly led to Ludlow’s death on board the S.S. Venture at the jaws of the tyrannosaurs. Malcolm, of course, had not intended to cause any further deaths and had been trying to evade the authorities at the time; he did not intentionally lure Ludlow into the dinosaurs’ path.
After the incidents in 1997, Malcolm remained mostly out of InGen affairs; he is not known to have publicly commented on Jurassic World during the time it opened. He did oppose the Dinosaur Protection Group and former Jurassic World Operations Manager Claire Dearing as of 2018, but by that time, Dearing was no longer employed by InGen.
Jurassic Park survivors
During the endorsement tour, Malcolm became acquainted with fellow scientists Drs. Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler as well as John Hammond’s grandchildren Lex and Tim Murphy. During the tour, he often playfully flirted with Dr. Sattler, though he did stop after discovering that she and Dr. Grant were in a relationship. His behavior, views, and general demeanor caused him to butt heads with Grant on more than one occasion during the tour of the Park, but the two men were ultimately forced to work together in order to protect the Murphy children. Grant advised Malcolm on how to survive a Tyrannosaurus encounter, and Malcolm willingly put himself in danger in order to draw the animal away from Grant and the children. Malcolm was injured and left behind, only to be rescued by Dr. Sattler who returned to the scene with Park warden Robert Muldoon. For the rest of the incident, Malcolm was cared for by Sattler and Hammond.
After the incident, Malcolm remained in contact with the Murphy children, whom he had helped to rescue during the tyrannosaur attack. They appear to have remained friends, and were happy to see one another during the events preceeding the 1997 incident. Any hard feelings Malcolm had toward InGen for discrediting him and ruining his career did not reflect on his feelings for the children. Grant remained a critic of Malcolm’s work, though the fact that he took the effort to read Malcolm’s book God Creates Dinosaurs suggests that Grant does consider Malcolm something close to a friend and that they kept in touch after the incident.
Briefly during the 1997 Isla Sorna incident, Dr. Malcolm worked with two other members of Hammond’s Gatherer team sent to document the de-extinct life on the island and sway public opinion in favor of their preservation. Malcolm met equipment specialist Eddie Carr at his garage shortly before departing for Isla Sorna, with video documentarian Nick Van Owen joining them a few minutes later. In comparison to these two men, Malcolm was somewhat inept with technology, which led to particular frustration on Carr’s part. Van Owen maintained a more neutral relationship with Malcolm, despite their wildly differing views on ecological activism. Ultimately, Carr would sacrifice his life to save Malcolm and the other Gatherers during the night of May 23, less than a day after landing on Isla Sorna; Malcolm was saddened by Carr’s death and demanded that the InGen Harvesters show the dead man proper respect.
His relationship with the volatile Van Owen perhaps wisely remained neutral for the duration of the incident, and after Van Owen succeeded in radioing for their rescue and journeyed with them back to the United States, they parted ways. Malcolm appears not to have told the authorities about Van Owen’s role in the incident, as later documentation claims that the release of the dinosaurs from InGen’s base camp was perpetrated by unknown persons.
Malcolm was highly respected in the scientific community prior to 1995, due in no small part to his extensive research into chaos theory and its applications in the broader scientific world. His reputation was damaged, seemingly irreversibly, by his wild claims of de-extinction taking place in secret on a secluded Costa Rican island; he made this announcement on public television during an interview, and his claims were refuted in reputable newspapers. The Costa Rican and U.S. governments contributed to his downfall. He was branded a fraud, disgraced, and lost tenure at the university in Austin. However, the San Diego incident in 1997 would prove that he was not a fraud after all, and that Jurassic Park had not been a hoax. From this point onward, Malcolm regained the respect from his peers that he had once had; it is likely that his treatment during the 1995-1997 period ensured that some bridges remained burned.
Some of Malcolm’s associates in the scientific community come from other fields of science, including several paleontologists. According to the mobile game Jurassic Park: Builder, in the late 1990s he was friends with a female neurobiologist based out of New York, but further details of their relationship are unknown.
More so than his contemporaries Drs. Grant and Sattler, Dr. Malcolm has an extensive relationship with the general public due not only to his position as a celebrity scientist, but as the only person to publicly break his NDA with InGen regarding the 1993 incident. After his breach of the agreement in a 1995 television interview, he was considered a fraud by the general public thanks to the efforts of Peter Ludlow. He was not without his fair share of believers, though; conspiracy theorists sometimes recognized him in public. Despite this, it could sometimes be difficult to tell which people were genuine believers and which were making fun of him.
His reputation among non-scientific crowds was restored by the 1997 San Diego incident, which provided ample proof (particularly to the people of San Diego) that Malcolm’s claims of de-extinction were not fraudulent after all. Since then, Malcolm’s popularity among the general public has risen dramatically, and he is considered a leading expert on bioethics despite not studying in a closely related field.
Since his vindication in the San Diego incident, the U.S. government has considered Malcolm an expert in bioethical issues similarly to the way he is perceived by the general public. While he was not involved with military operations around Isla Sorna in 1997 or 2001, he was called to testify before Congress (particularly the Senate) in June 2018 during a time of heated de-extinct animal rights debates. Malcolm was a key witness during the debates, and played a role in convincing the government to do nothing regarding the volcanic threat to Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs (a response that conveniently did not interfere with the sitting U.S. President‘s anti-dinosaur views). He did not have as much of a convincing response to the news that multiple de-extinct animals had escaped onto American soil, instead urging the nation to prepare for sudden dramatic ecological change.
During the 1993 incident, Malcolm’s interactions with de-extinct life were limited to three main encounters. First, he witnessed a small group of Brachiosaurus grazing and bathing alongside a herd of Parasaurolophus, his first encounter with de-extinct animals. He was astounded that InGen had succeeded in bringing dinosaurs back from extinction, but remained skeptical that Jurassic Park overall would be a success. During the tour, most of the dinosaurs failed to show; he did get the chance to closely interact with a sick, tranquilized adult Triceratops. Like his fellow tour members, he could not hold back a sense of amazement at the animal. Finally, the last dinosaur he encountered on Isla Nublar was the island’s Tyrannosaurus, which escaped confinement before his eyes; this, in his mind, proved that he had been right about Jurassic Park’s inviability. This animal severely wounded him during the incident, but did not kill him; he survived and would go on to escape it a second time with the help of Dr. Ellie Sattler and Park warden Robert Muldoon.
During the 1997 incident on Isla Sorna, he encountered a much wider range of dinosaurs on many more occasions than on Isla Nublar. These included two family groups of Stegosaurus, numerous herbivores from the northeastern game trail, and a family of Tyrannosaurus rex including a juvenile male and his mother and father. The tyrannosaur family in particular was a major threat to Malcolm and his Gatherer companions during the incident, due to the fact that Dr. Sarah Harding and Nick Van Owen intervened to save the juvenile’s life after its leg was broken. The adults destroyed the mobile field lab which Malcolm, Harding, and Van Owen were sheltering inside, despite their offspring being healed and returned to them unharmed. The tyrannosaurs continued to stalk the group across the island, ultimately attacking their temporary encampment during the night of November 3; this forced the survivors into Velociraptor territory, where Malcolm had his first encounter with these formidable hunters. He and his companions were able to escape without harm, however, and left the island. Malcolm would go on to be instrumental in reuniting the father and son tyrannosaurs and returning them to InGen’s freighter the S.S. Venture, without which they would have been killed or captured and never would have seen their birthplace again.
Malcolm would remain out of de-extinction affairs until June 2018, at which point he argued that natural disasters causing the dinosaurs’ extinction were a saddening, but acceptable, turn of events. His testimony before the U.S. Senate influenced the government’s decision not to take any action to protect the dinosaurs, though an illegal operation headed by the Lockwood Foundation and Dinosaur Protection Group would retrieve many of the animals anyway and ultimately caused them to be released onto the North American mainland. Malcolm, rather than advocate for the animals’ deaths, has since urged Americans to adapt to these creatures’ presence in the world.
Dr. Ian Malcolm is portrayed by Jeff Goldblum. In 1993, he was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Jurassic Park, and in 1997 he was nominated for the Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actor – Science Fiction for his role in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. He is heavily based on the character of the same name first introduced in Michael Crichton‘s 1990 novel, in which Malcolm is said to have died of his injuries by the book’s end; his popularity in both the novel and film prompted Crichton to revive him for the sequel novel.
Cameron Thor originally applied to play the role of Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park. The role was instead given to Goldblum, while Thor instead was given the minor role of Lewis Dodgson; this is fortunate, as Cameron Thor was found guilty in 2016 of sexual assault on a minor.
Ian Malcolm has been referenced in every major Jurassic franchise film. His book God Creates Dinosaurs is mentioned (along with his character by name) in Jurassic Park ///, and physically appears twice in Jurassic World to viewers with keen eyes. Malcolm appears directly in all the other main films in the series.